Salary Structure of Musicians in South Africa

Music is a form of expressing one’s art through the use of talent and a perfect blend of instruments that would be pleasing to the ears when listened to by a group of people at an event or ceremony.

In my previous article, I outlined the steps you can take to becoming a Musician in South Africa. Today, we would look at how much artists earn for each performance at different events or shows.

Salary Structure of Musicians in South Africa

The art side of music requires your talent in any part of the music-making process, but you see the business side is how you get to manage or monitor your streams of income from music.

There are different ways an artist can generate income for himself via his talent, it could be through bookings for performances at different events, making music for a movie, royalties of already recorded music, streaming music via streaming platforms, or through brands and endorsement deals.

Although the amount of money you might generate from your music could be quite enormous, the factors affecting your income level might be how old you are in the music industry, effective promotion of your music, and how large organizations looking for ambassadors perceive your brand.

Having said that, how much do musicians earn in South Africa?

Musicians who have been in the game for quite a while and have amassed popularity over time might charge up to R2000 per hour for personal events or ceremonies.

If you are new or still trying to gather fans in then you would have to charge lesser than this and sometimes even perform for free at some shows. Think of it as an investment for the future when you would be able to charge larger amounts from clients willing to pay what you are worth.

Another way musicians make their money is via organizing shows and concerts which might happen during festive seasons or public holidays. Top musicians are able to get between R10,000 -R 250,000 per appearance at concerts/shows while artists still emerging would get about R1,500 – R3,000 until they are able gather enough fanbase with great appreciation for their music.

I would advice that as an upcoming artist waiting for his/her big break, the best alternative to increasing your earning power is by making use of streaming platforms to promote your music. That way another source of income is generated.

Your music can also be submitted to movie makers or video game creators to use as a soundtrack for their work, this could also create awareness about your music for possible collaboration with other celebrities as well.


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